History of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Fluoride was first added to water in the United States in the 1940’s. The reason given for this at the time was that it would help to prevent tooth decay in children 8 years and under. Now almost 70% of citizens in the United States have fluoride in their tap water, which most Americans still drink.

There are many reasons why the addition of fluoride to drinking water is a very controversial practice. Fluoride is a very toxic substance. That is why fluoride has long been used in pesticides to kill rats and other rodents.  There have been accidents in which the human ingestion of fluoridated products such as fluoride supplements, fluoride gels and even fluoridated water have caused serious reactions, even death! It is no wonder that the FDA now requires a poison warning on all fluoride toothpastes that are sold in the United States.

water treatment facility

Fluoride in Water Treatment

Fluoride is used in water treatment, not to treat the water, as most water treatment chemicals do, but to treat the consumer. Fluoride is a very toxic non-metallic element. The gas is more toxic than lead, and only slightly less toxic than arsenic.  The debate over fluoride is not about the acute toxicity of fluoride, which is not disputed, but it is about chronic toxicity.  In other words, what happens when fluoride at low levels in the water is consumed over extended periods of time? What are the possible adverse health effects?

Advocates for fluoridation have claimed for years that fluoride is safe in dentistry, but this is not necessarily true. For some researchers, after looking at many of the studies that claimed fluoride safety, there are many unsettled questions. There are still many today that challenge this claim.

Side Effects of Fluoride

It is a fact that fluoride is not specifically for teeth. It will migrate to, and accumulate anywhere there is calcium. This of course would include bones which are made harder by the presence of fluoride. This is not a benefit and leads to bones that break more easily and heal more slowly.  Naturally elevated levels of fluoride in water is likely the reason that millions of people living in India and China now suffer from serious crippling bone diseases.  In India, “due to naturally-occurring fluoride, both skeletal and dental fluorosis were endemic in 2004 in at least 20 states”.

There are also studies that appear to show that fluoride may at least be a contributing factor in causing deadly bone cancer, especially in young boys and men.  This was suggested in one study made by Elise Bassin, DDS in 2001. This study was published the May 2006 issue of a magazine “Cancer Causes and Control”.  A spokesman for the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization, says water fluoridation should stop until further research can refute or confirm Bassin’s findings.

Fluoride reacts with every enzyme and hormone in our bodies. Human fluoride toxicity varies by age group. Of all the age groups, infants are the most vulnerable. Due to their small size, infants receive up to 400% more fluoride (per pound of body weight) than adults consuming the same level of fluoride in their water. Healthy adults can normally excrete 50% or more of the fluoride that they ingest. Infants on the other hand, have and impaired ability to excrete fluoride through their kidneys. They can normally excrete only 15-20% of the fluoride which they have ingested. This increased build-up of fluoride in infants may explain why they suffer from higher rates of dental fluorosis.  Fluorosis is a condition that causes spotting and streaking on children’s teeth.

PPM of Fluoride in Drinking Water

The current maximum contaminant level set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1962 has been in the range of 0.7-1.2 milligrams per liter or parts per million. There are some areas of the United States, and other parts of the world, where the fluoride level in the water are just naturally elevated as mentioned earlier. It was recently reported by CNN that the federal government is recommending changing the amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time in 50 years, partly because of the increase in fluorosis. The new lower limit has not yet been announced, but it is intended to still lower the risk of dental decay.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental fluorosis is highest among adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15. One of the reasons for this is thought to be that Americans now have access to fluoride from a variety of other sources according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Besides being found in 95% of the toothpaste on the market, it is found in mouth rinses and prescription supplements.

What Removes Fluoride from Water

AquaNui water distillers remove fluoride from water making it 99.9% free of all contaminants.  Distilled water is safe to drink, refreshing and delicious.